HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Kalob Ledoux and Stephen Ugochukwu each scored 17 points to lead McNeese in Thursday night’s Southland Conference game at Sam Houston State, but the Cowboys were unable to capitalize late in the game when given the opportunities as the Bearkats escaped with a 79-74 win.
The loss was the seventh straight suffered by McNeese as it falls to 7-21 overall and 4-13 in league play. SHSU improves to 19-11 and 10-7 in the conference.
The Bearkats never led by more than six points in the second half and the Cowboys were able to get the deficit to three at 71-68 with 2:47 to play and with the ball. McNeese missed a chance to close the gap to 1 on a Jamaya Burr miss with 2:00 to play. Then with 1:30 left and trailing 73-70 after Burr knocked down a couple of free throws but Dakarai Henderson dealt the final blow with a three-pointer with just over a minute to play to put the Bearkats up 76-70.
Henderson led SHSU with 16 points while Chris Galbreath added 12 and Paul Baxter 11.
McNeese hit 27 of 56 from the field for 48 percent and knocked down 5 of 12 from 3-point range for 42 percent. The Bearkats hit 46 percent (28 of 61) from the floor and were 10 of 27 for 37 percent from long range.
Jarren Greenwood added 11 points for the Cowboys while Burr scored 10. Ugochukwu led the team with nine rebounds.
McNeese started the game with a hot hand, building a 16-5 lead in the first four minutes of the game behind 7 of 9 shooting from the field. After trailing 3-2, Ledoux sparked a 14-2 run that ended with a jumper by the freshman.
The Bearkats began to chip away at the lead and ended up with a 38-37 lead at the half.
The Cowboys will close out the season on Saturday when they host Lamar at 3 p.m.